| 11:58 AM EST

Yokohama Spoiling for Aero Tires

Japan’s Yokohama Rubber Co. says its new prototype tire can help improve aerodynamic efficiency.
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Japan’s Yokohama Rubber Co. says its new prototype tire can help improve aerodynamic efficiency.  

The design features a series of small airfoil fins, located around the outside tire wall, that act as spoilers. When a vehicle is in motion, the fins at the top of the tire cut down on drag while those at the bottom of the rotation help suppress lift characteristics, according to the tire maker.

Yokohama, which began developing the technology in 2012, worked with researchers at Tohoku University on the program and used the school’s supercomputer to run aerodynamic simulations. The company says it is continuing to refine the placement and shape of the fins and dimples to optimize performance, but it didn’t provide details about how much aerodynamics and fuel efficiency could be improved as a result of the new design.

Yokohama will display the prototype tire at next week’s Tokyo auto show.